Veg Lovers Welcome


At Café Eden in Downtown San Jose, we offer a wide variety of vegetarian dishes that will satisfy the veg lover in you! 

Our vegetarian menu is bursting with flavor - delicious breads baked fresh on-site daily, salads with fresh ingredients, and tasty dips.

You don't have to sacrifice flavor to enjoy a healthy, vegetarian diet at Café Eden. Come in check it out for yourself! 

All veg lovers are welcome! 



Shawarma for the win.

Is your mouth watering yet?

We can't wait for you to come in to Cafe Eden in Downtown San Jose and try THE BEST chicken and beef shawarma around. Once you've tried our delicious Mediterranean cuisine, you'll keep coming back for more.

We are located in the heart of downtown on First Street and Santa Clara. Most nearby parking can be validated.

We are just an 8-minute walk from MLK Library, and students with a valid student ID receive a discount. If you're new to SJSU this year, come in and discover your new favorite local restaurant!

Shawarma or Shawurma (Arabic: شاورما‎ / ALA-LC: shāwarmā;) is a Levantine Arab[1][2] meat preparation, where lambchickenturkeybeefveal, or mixed meats are placed on a spit (commonly a vertical spit in restaurants), and may be grilled for as long as a day. Shavings are cut off the block of meat for serving, and the remainder of the block of meat is kept heated on the rotating spit.
Shawarma is made by alternately stacking strips of fat and pieces of seasoned meat on a vertical spit. An onion, a tomato, or a halved lemon is sometimes placed at the top for decoration. The meat is roasted slowly on all sides as the spit rotates in front of, or over, a flame for hours.
- from Wikipedia



Café Eden: All is Halal

From the owner: "We purchase meat from Harris Farms in California under the direction of Amin Attia (559) 299-6759 who oversees the slaughtering."

In case you're wondering what in the world "Halal" means, here is an excerpt from Wikipedia: 

Halal is often used in reference to foods and drinks, i.e. foods that are permissible for Muslims to eat or drink under Islamic Shariʻah (law). The criteria specifies both what foods are allowed, and how the food must be prepared. The foods addressed are mostly types of meat and animal tissue.
The most common example of non-halal (or haraam) food is pork (pig meat). While pork is the only meat that cannot be eaten by all Muslims at all (due to religious—as Quran forbids it[5]—and hygienic concerns), foods other than pork can also be haraam. The criteria for non-pork items include their source, the cause of the animal's death, and how it was processed. It also depends on the Muslim's madhab.
The food must come from a supplier that uses halal practices. Specifically, the slaughter must be performed by a Muslim, who must precede the slaughter by invoking the name of Allah, most commonly by saying "Bismillah" ("In the name of God") and then three times "Allahu akbar" (God is the greatest). Then, the animal must be slaughtered with a sharp knife by cutting the throat, windpipe and the blood vessels in the neck, causing the animal's death without cutting the spinal cord. Lastly, the blood from the veins must be drained.
Muslims must also ensure that all foods (particularly processed foods), as well as non-food items like cosmetics and pharmaceuticals, are halal. Frequently, these products contain animal by-products or other ingredients that are not permissible for Muslims to eat or use on their bodies.
Foods that are not halal for Muslims to consume as per various Qurʼanic verses are:
  • Pork[5]
  • Blood[6]
  • Intoxicants and alcoholic beverages[7]
  • Animals killed incorrectly and/or without Allah's name being pronounced before slaughter[8]
    • Animals slaughtered in the name of anyone but "Allah". All that has been dedicated or offered in sacrifice to an idolatrous altar or saint or a person considered to be "divine"[5][6]
    • Carrion (carcasses of dead animals, i.e. animals who died in the wild)[5]
    • An animal that has been strangled, beaten (to death), killed by a fall, gored (to death), savaged by a beast of prey (unless finished off by a human) or sacrificed on a stone altar.[6]
Quranic verses regarding halal foods include: 2:173, 5:5, and 6:118-119, 121.

Leave a review for us on Zabihah: world's largest guide to Halal restaurants & markets



How do college students define "healthy" food?

Excerpt of an article from the Food Service Director blog:

“The younger generation has a different definition of healthy. [Healthy] has to fall into the context of affordable, fresh and local, vegan and vegetarian,” says Tristano. 

Additionally, college students want their food to be prepared in a transparent manner. “They’re used to seeing it and knowing what they’re getting,” says Tristano. “When the kitchen is open view it builds trust through visual recognition.” 

How healthy is Café Eden?
At Café Eden, we are proud to serve affordable, fresh, Mediterranean cuisine with myriad vegetarian options. In fact, you can stop in and pick up one of our vegetarian menus. We bake all our bread fresh on-site every day! There's nothing better than delicious falafel in warm, freshly-baked bread. If you're tired of greasy fast food and expensive alternative dining, check out Café Eden!

Location, location, location
Nestled in the heart of downtown San Jose, our restaurant is in a prime location for hungry, health-minded San Jose State University students. We are just a hop and a skip from San Pedro Square. Stop in and check us out!

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Make Café Eden your spot for iftar during Ramadan

The following is an excerpt from this Huffington Post article.

What are the dates of Ramadan?

Because the cycle of the lunar calendar does not match the solar calendar, the dates of Ramadan shift by approximately 11 days each year. In 2015, Ramadan is expected to begin on Thursday, June 18, in the United States, although the date is only confirmed once the moon is sighted.

The ending of Ramadan is marked by the holiday of Eid ul-Fitr, which takes place either 29 or 30 days after the beginning of the month. On Eid ul-Fitr, morning prayers are followed by feasting and celebration among family and friends.

What is the history of Ramadan?

Ramadan is the 9th month of the Islamic calendar. The term Ramadan literally means scorching in Arabic. It was established as a Holy Month for Muslims after the Quran was revealed to the Prophet Muhammad in 610 CE on the occasion known as Laylat al-Qadr, frequently translated as "the Night of Power."

Observance of Ramadan is mandated in the Quran, Surah 2, Ayah 185:

“The month of Ramadhan [is that] in which was revealed the Qur'an, guidance for the people and clear proofs of guidance and criterion. So whoever sights [the new moon of] the month, let him fast it; and whoever is ill or on a journey - then an equal number of other days. Allah intends for you ease and does not intend for you hardship and [wants] for you to complete the period and to glorify Allah for that [to] which He has guided you; and perhaps you will be grateful.”

What are the daily fasting requirements?

During the month of Ramadan, most Muslims fast from dawn to sunset with no food or water. Before sunrise many Muslims have the Suhur or predawn meal. At sunset families and friends gather for Iftar which is the meal eaten by Muslims to break the fast. Many Muslims begin the meal by eating dates as the Prophet used to do.

This ritual fast known as, Sawm, is one of the five pillars of Islam, and requires that individuals abstain from eating, drinking, smoking and sexual intercourse.

To find the specific times for Ramadan fasting, click over to this helpful tool provided by IslamiCity that allows you to calculate prayer schedules -- including sunrise and sunset -- by entering your city or zip code.

What are the expectations towards charity?

Charity is an important part of Ramadan. The fast emphasizes self-sacrifice and using the experience of hunger to grow in empathy with the hungry. During Ramadan, Muslim communities work together to raise money for the poor, donate clothes and food, and hold iftar dinners for the less fortunate.

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Dish of the Month: Mujaddara

A hungry man would sell his soul for a dish of mujaddara.
— From “The Land of Figs and Olives” by Habeeb Salloum and Jim Peters

Mujaddara is made of burgul (cracked wheat) and lentil and is cooked in olive oil and garnished with caramelized onions.

Mujaddara is an extremely popular dish throughout the Middle East and is gaining popularity among vegetarians as more and more learn about it. In the Middle Eastern Christian communities, it is a welcome source of protein during the observation of Lent, when many abstain from consuming meat.

Among the Jewish community, it has been called “Esau’s Favorite,” since it was most likely a derivative of the "mess of pottage" that Jacob used to buy Esau's birthright. Traditionally, they eat it twice a week: hot on Thursday and cold on Sunday.

The health benefits of mujaddara are enormous. Lentils are packed with fiber that help the digestive system, and contains folic acid to protect the artery walls and has magnesium to improve the blood flow. Likewise, burgul is very healthy food. According to the Harvard School of Public Health, it lowers the risk of developing cardiovascular disease. It is 100% whole wheat and is a good source of fiber, protein iron and vitamin B-6.

Aside from all those good things, it is a delightful and fulfilling dish.

Café Eden is now serving mujaddara daily.
During the month of June (2015), the dish is reduced to $5.90.

Come and enjoy this dish with your friends!


Lahmajoun - Meat Pizza, Mediterranean Style


Lahmajoun - Meat Pizza, Mediterranean Style

Lahmajoun (A popular Mediterranean meat pizza)

The Mediterranean region boasts a rich diversity of culture, cuisine and traditions. Common amongst the people of the Mediterranean region is their love for fresh bread. The Italians manifested that love in their pizza that is recognized throughout the world. The Eastern Mediterranean people have their own meat pizza. This popular dish is known by different names dependent on the region. It is called Lahmacun by the Turks. The Syrians and Armenians call it Lahmajoun.  It is such a delightful pizza that each group claims the ownership of its invention, but they all share their love for it.

The word “Lahmajoun” is a compound word meaning dough and meat. It is freshly baked pizza dough with either ground beef or lamb being the main ingredient. Two varieties are usually offered.

The traditional meat pizza that comprises of ground beef, chopped onion, yogurt, pomegranate syrup with a dash of salt and pepper. These are mixed well and spread on a thin layer of dough.

The spicier version comprises of ground beef, chopped onion and a mix of fresh vegetables like tomatoes, bell pepper, red pepper, cilantro, garlic and other spices. (Personally, this is my favorite. What a great way to add flavor to your day!)

Both varieties are offered by Café Eden in one size, similar to a small personal pizza.

Whether you love hamburgers or pizza, Lahmajoun offers the two in a tasty and fulfilling mix.

Lahmajoun is also a healthier alternative to fast food. Why?

  • Our dough is made fresh every day

  • No meat filler 

  • Top grade quality meat is used

  • No preservatives

  • No artificial ingredients

Did you know that Lahmajoun was listed in Lonely Planet’s The World’s Best Spicy Food?


Café Eden, A Passion and a Mission


Café Eden, A Passion and a Mission

Why a restaurant? Why Café Eden?

The answer is: it is a passion and a mission.

When I approached some friends to ask their opinion about opening a new Middle Eastern restaurant, the answer was always, "Why?" Why should I enter into a new venture after a successful career as an engineer and as a businessman in the manufacturing segment? Why venture into a tough business I knew nothing about?

One person advised me that going into a business I knew nothing about at this age (beyond mandatory retirement age) was simply crazy. And when I consulted with my lawyer, she went a step further and said, "Zag! No!" To go into this business is not crazy at my age - it is crazy at any age!

I started Café Eden because I have a passion for good food. While people of my generation used to walk the extra mile for a Camel, I used to walk the extra mile for a good bite.

That passion for good food was channeled into my new restaurant, Café Eden, in downtown San Jose, where we offer some of the most popular sandwiches like Shawarma, falafel, and others. So far, we have attracted rave views from our customers. To add to the meticulously flavored sandwiches, we make our own bread on the premises and offer it fresh by the hour.

Now my mission is to make those and other world famous sandwiches available to the widest segment of the public, who are the ultimate judge on whether we succeed in this endeavor.